CSH in the News – June 2013

Business Wire, June 3
Mount Prospect Community and Project Partners Celebrate Grand Opening of Myers Place – a First-of-Its-Kind Supportive-Housing Development in Northwest Suburban Chicago
Community leaders, project partners and local residents today celebrated the grand opening for Myers Place, a new $13.2 million mixed-use supportive housing development located in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. UnitedHealthcare of Illinois provided $8.1 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity to help build Myers Place through a partnership with Enterprise Community Investment, Inc. (Enterprise), a national leader in the affordable-housing and community-development industry, which provided an additional $1.7 million in LIHTC equity for the project. Additional funding and community partners included Village Bank & Trust, which provided construction phase financing and $1 million in permanent financing, the Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity ($100,000), the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), the Housing Authority of the County of Cook, the Regional Housing Initiative and The Task Force — North/Northwest Suburban Supportive Housing for Individuals with Mental Illness.

The Wall Street Journal, June 10
AMR Corporation and US Airways Announce Board of Directors for the New American Airlines
AMR Corporation (OTCQB: AAMRQ), the parent company of American Airlines, Inc., and US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE: LCC) today announced the members of the Board of Directors of the combined company, American Airlines Group Inc., effective after the closing of the companies’ expected merger. Denise M. O’Leary (Age 55). Ms. O’Leary has been a private investor in early stage companies since 1996. From 1983 until 1996, she was employed at Menlo Ventures, a venture capital firm, first as an associate and then as a general partner. She serves as a director of Medtronic, Inc. and Calpine Corporation. Additionally, she serves on the boards of directors of the Corporation for Supportive Housing and the Denver Foundation and is a member of the boards of trustees of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation and the University of Denver. Ms. O’Leary served as a director of America West and AWA from 1998 to 2007 and became a member of the boards of US Airways Group and US Airways in 2005.

Lancaster Eagle Gazette, June 16
Housing Options for People with Mental Health Issues Vary Greatly
Ohio has devoted millions of state and federal dollars to transition people with severe and persistent mental illness into apartments and group homes to save money and improve the individual’s quality of life. “I think with any system like this, the resource allocation, the money allocation is always a challenge,” said Sally Luken, director of Ohio’s Corporation for Supportive Housing. But she’s optimistic that recent efforts will make a difference. “We have some really great leadership at the state level, prioritizing money for the disabled.”

Providing Alternatives Beyond Foster Care for Families

This guest blog post and Letter to the Editor is written by Deb De Santis, CSH CEO & President and Frank Farrow, Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) Director, in response to The Girls Who Haven’t Come Home, an article published in the New York Times on July 6, 2013.

To the Editor:

Vernice Hill’s family fell through the cracks because the child welfare system alone is not well equipped to help families like the Hills stay together safely.  Earlier intervention, through family supportive housing, could have kept that family intact.

Supportive housing creates stronger environments for very poor families who struggle with complex problems.  It brings together services from child welfare, mental health, substance abuse, public assistance, and housing to support the entire family holistically, providing stability and averting crises that lead to the removal of children.

Recently, the federal government launched an innovative partnership with four private foundations that will test supportive housing as a way to preserve families while keeping their children safe.  We expect to see happier, healthier families and fewer foster care placements.

Foster care should not be our first choice.  We need to provide better alternatives for families like the Hills.

 Deb  Frank Farrow
Deborah De Santis Frank Farrow
President & CEO, CSH Director, Center for the Study of Social Policy
New York, N.Y. Washington, D.C.

Note: CSH and CSSP operate the Child Welfare & Supportive Housing Resource Center on behalf of the public-private Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families in the Child Welfare System.








Senate’s “Blank Slate” Approach to Tax Reform Creates Imperative Advocacy Opportunity

On June 27, the leadership of the Senate Finance Committee announced that it will begin a new effort to reform our tax laws.  These changes could dramatically impact how supportive housing is funded.

Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) solicited the priorities of their Senate colleagues and indicated they’d be using a “blank slate” approach to tax reform.  The Senators stated that all credits and deductions would be removed from the code “unless there is clear evidence that they: (1) help grow the economy, (2) make the tax code fairer, or (3) effectively promote other important policy objectives.”  It is up to individual Senators now to weigh in with the Senate Finance Committee on their preferences for what portions of the tax code should remain, be changed, or be added.

CSH is very interested in the Committee’s efforts for two primary reasons:

  • The  most important capital source for creating supportive housing – the Low Income Housing Tax Credit – is in jeopardy if it is not included in the new code. New Markets Tax Credits also face the same risk.
  • The opportunity to reform the tax code to provide critically needed new incentives and funding sources for affordable housing.  Creating a Renters Credit is an innovative and worthwhile proposal, as is reforming the Mortgage Interest Deduction to fund the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

CSH encourages developers, affordable housing advocates, homeless service providers and others to reach out to their Senatorsright away about the importance of housing tax credits and the value of having a Renters Credit or a reformed MID to fund the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.  The Committee requested responses by July 26th but offices will be finalizing their lists prior to that date.  Because many Senators “support” the tax credit, we encourage advocates to not simply accept that they are supportive, and rather to go a step further and get a commitment that the Senator will include these proposals in a letter to the Senate Finance Committee.

More information can be found here:

The A.C.T.I.O.N. Campaign

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Renters’ Credit

United for Homes’ Mortgage Interest Deduction reform proposal

House of Representatives Committee Considers HUD Funding for Fiscal Year 2014

The House of Representatives’ Transportation-HUD (T-HUD) Appropriations Subcommittee will consider its Fiscal Year 2014 bill on June 19th at 10am. The Committee recently released a draft of its bill.  Advocates are urged to reach out to members of both the T-HUD Subcommittee and the full Appropriations Committee urging the highest possible funding level for those HUD programs that are most important to you.

Overall the Subcommittee proposes cuts of $5 billion (15%) to HUD’s programs compared to last year’s enacted levels.  Despite the Subcommittee’s welcomed support (see below) for HUD-VASH and its increase for McKinney-Vento (however insufficient it may be), the remainder of the bill woefully underfunds many important HUD programs.  The Subcommittee has proposed drastic and harmful reductions to the HOME and CDBG programs, both of which contribute significantly to the creation of supportive housing.  HOPWA, the Section 811 program for people with disabilities, and public housing programs also received significant cuts.  The result of this underfunding is certain to drive additional demand for homeless programs as highly vulnerable families are unable to access mainstream resources.

Advocates for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program have once again demonstrated effective education of policymakers as the Subcommittee recommends a funding level of $2.088 billion for the program – an increase of $55 million over the FY 13 legislation, and an increase of $159 million after factoring in the across-the-board cuts mandated by sequestration (though the $2.088 would still be subject to sequestration cuts before it is distributed unless Congress overturns the policy).  Nevertheless, this funding level is still far below the President’s request of $2.381 billion and is insufficient to meet the need of providers.  In addition, the Subcommittee recommends $200 million for the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program, which is the same funding level as Fiscal Year 2013.  The Subcommittee bill again provides $75 million for approximately 10,000 new HUD-VASH vouchers for homeless veterans.  Further analysis of these funding levels will be forthcoming.

HUD Releases Notice Informing PHAs of Helpful Strategies to End Homelessness

HUD has released a notice to Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) and its Field Office directors to provide strategies that can be used by PHAs to contribute to community efforts to end homelessness.  The guidance points PHAs to specific HUD policies and regulations that are key to more effectively serving homeless people including: wait list management; establishing preferences; admissions policies for tenants with criminal backgrounds; substance use issues, and poor rental histories; eviction and termination policies; and the use of project based Section 8 to create supportive housing.

HUD’s guidance is a greatly welcomed and important supplement to CSH’s Public Housing Agency Toolkit, which we released in September 2012.

CSH is particularly pleased that the guidance provides important details about how PHAs can create homeless preferences, which are referenced to as “a PHA’s greatest tool for increasing program access for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.”  The guidance also provides important clarity about admissions policies for people with challenging or limited rental histories, including those who’ve been involved in the criminal justice system.

Finally, the guidance discusses the importance of PHA’s properly reporting homelessness as people enter PHA programs.  To assist PHA’s, the guidance shares the new definition of homelessness under the HEARTH Act and provides some helpful guidance to PHAs that are determining whether a person is homeless under HUD’s definition.

Stay tuned for more information from CSH about how this guidance and CSH’s PHA Toolkit can be used together to more effectively partner with PHAs and execute strategies to reduce homelessness.

CSH signs Memorandum of Understanding with the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA)

In an effort to bolster what has already been a productive relationship, CSH and the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).  The MOU will strengthen the two organizations’ collective efforts to support Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) in their work to end homelessness and provide supportive housing for our most vulnerable citizens.

The goals of the MOU include educating and engaging CLPHA members to create supportive housing, jointly pursuing public and philanthropic investments in our collective work, and coordinating advocacy on key policy issues.

CSH’s President and CEO, Deb De Santis, stated, “Partnerships between PHAs and supportive housing stakeholders will create more units, target scarce resources more effectively, reduce homelessness, and ultimately help ensure that very vulnerable people have access to safe and affordable housing.  We deeply value the relationship we have with CLPHA and many of its members and look forward to accomplishing the goals and objectives of this MOU.”

CLPHA’s Executive Director, Sunia Zaterman, stated, “We see tremendous opportunity in helping connect our member PHAs with others who are working to create supportive housing and prevent and end homelessness.  Given the very difficult federal budget situation, it is more important than ever for PHAs and those serving homeless people to seek partnerships. The MOU between CSH and CLPHA will help our members and partners identify and engage in opportunities for collaboration.”

CSH in the News – May

Nonprofit Quarterly, May 6 
Nonprofit Roots of the “Innovation in American Government” Winners
This year’s Innovation in American Government awards have been announced by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. The innovation awards show the importance of the nonprofit sector. It takes a quick glance to see how many of the government innovations in the list are built on partnerships with nonprofit sector entities. For example, New York City’s Homebase program for early intervention and “rapid rehousing” to prevent homelessness is built on a model of partnership with Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, CAMBA, and Palladia; these are community-based nonprofits without whom the city’s program would not function. In fact, Homebase sounds entirely consistent with the Housing First model of homelessness services that was developed by such entities as the Corporation for Supportive Housing and the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

San Jose Inside, May 7
Rules to Discuss Legislation Targeting Chronic Homeless
Of San Jose’s 5,000 or so homeless residents, nearly 30 percent are chronically on the streets, according to city housing officials. Most of the chronically homeless suffer from mental illness, physical disability, addiction or some combination of the three. California spends half its Medi-Cal funds on only 4 percent of beneficiaries, according to the Corporation for Supportive Housing. That 4 percent needs intensive treatment for social, mental, medical and substance abuse problems, the severity often leaving these people incurable.

CoStar Group, May 8
Corp for Supportive Housing Leases 18,000 SF at 61 Broadway
The Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) signed a ten-year lease for 17,885 square at 61 Broadway in New York City. The tenant will take occupancy of almost the entire 23rd floor of the building.

New Haven Register, May 22
Gov. Malloy in New Haven to Announce $13.9 million in Grants for Connecticut Supportive Housing Development Fund
Governor Dannel P. Malloy today joined Department of Housing Commissioner Evonne Klein, Mayor John DeStefano Jr., and state and local officials, to announce $13.8 million in grants to fund 11 affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization programs throughout the state.  The projects represent partnerships between state and local government as well as nonprofit groups, and will leverage private and federal funds to rehabilitate blighted housing, construct new units, and make improvements to existing properties.  The Corporation for Supportive Housing will receive $1.3 million to capitalize the Connecticut Supportive Housing Development Fund, which will provide gap financing for eight projects yielding 80-90 supportive housing units.  The program will have two distinct components: an initiative to induce larger-scale developers to include new supportive housing, and direct development assistance to new supportive housing developments.

Planet S, May 31
Hoping the Best for Saskatoon’s Latest Homeless Strategy
Thanks to the efforts of a long list of community organizations and advocates, Saskatoon’s first Plan to End Homelessness will be ready soon. The only question is: will embracing the “housing first” strategy that’s trending across North America be enough to eradicate homelessness in Saskatoon? This month, the Saskatoon and Area United Way (UW) contracted Portland-based consultants from the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) to host a charrette. The two-day planning and consultation process involved representatives from community organizations, affordable housing developers, community shelters, government and people who have experienced homelessness in Saskatoon.

Commercial Observer, May 31
Nonprofit Group CSH Inks 15,293-Square-Foot Deal at Sizzling 61 Broadway
The nonprofit Corporation for Supportive Housing signed a 10-year, 15,293-square-foot lease at 61 Broadway in a relocation and consolidation from 50 Broadway, The Commercial Observer has learned. David Carlos of Studley represented the tenant in the transaction. The landlord, Broad Street Development, was represented in-house by David Israni and Ramona Huegel. Asking rents are in the high $30s-per-square-foot

National Evaluation Convening for ACYF-Funded Demonstration

Last week, The Urban Institute with CSH and the Center for Study of Social Policy (CSSP), held a 2-day national convening to design a national evaluation of the ACYF-funded demonstration project that is testing an intensive approach that pairs supportive housing with on-site case management and a comprehensive array of services for families experiencing repeated homelessness, substance abuse and mental health problems, and child welfare involvement.

Objectives of the convening included understanding local program models and evaluation designs, co-designing the national evaluation, gaining knowledge useful for building local implementation capacity and completing portions of Implementation Plan, developing working knowledge of demonstration site approaches, and building relationships with colleagues in other sites.

The convening was attended by roughly 60 participants including  Federal officials, national philanthropic leaders, and local child welfare, housing and social services representatives from the five national grantees of an initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Casey Family Programs, and the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.

At the event, Commissioner Bryan Samuels, Commissioner, Administration for Children, Youth and Families, US Dept HHS, made a presentation to the grantees, encouraging them to step out of their “comfort zone” and develop innovative supportive housing interventions for families with the most needs, and at-highest risk of repeat involvement in the child welfare, homeless, and other public systems.

Jennifer Ho, Special Advisor to the Secretary of HUD, Sean Donovan, also addressed the grantees. Jennifer inspired the grantees with her own account of developing and providing supportive housing to families with the most needs. Jennifer explained through the experience of case manager, the philosophy of supportive housing case management—to stay with tenants through their challenges, maintaining a strong focus on setting and meeting family goals, being flexible and doing “whatever it takes” to engage and support tenants.

Urban Institute is conducting a national, cross-site evaluation of the demonstration project. Funding for the national evaluation is being provided by the four philanthropic organizations: Robert Wood Johnson, Annie E. Casey and Edna McConnell Clark foundations and Casey Family Programs.
Both local and national evaluations include a process outcome and cost study. CSH and CSSP are providing technical assistance to the sites through the The Child Welfare & Supportive Housing Resource Center. The Resource Center provides and coordinates tailored, one-on-one expertise and services to help meet each site’s needs. In addition, the Resource Center will encourage and support peer learning among the five sites, building on local capacity and the experience of people working in the field.



CSH in the News – March & April 2013

Baltimore Sun, March 31
Outreach aids former inmates struggling to find housing, jobs
Akua Zenzele, a community supervision agent in Southeast Baltimore who works with parolees, knows the first few days after being released from incarceration are crucial for former inmates.
Many are paroled with few resources and nowhere to go. Some end up homeless, and without a way to meet basic needs; others wind up back in jail after committing new crimes just to get by. Zenzele, whose job is to monitor those on parole and probation, has seen the cycle play out before.
People are less likely to attend treatment programs or look for a job if they’re worried where they’re going to sleep that night, Kane said. And when people don’t have housing, they tend to fall back on old patterns. Andy McMahon, with the Corporation for Supportive Housing, an organization that works to develop affordable housing options for vulnerable populations, called housing “a linchpin to all these other things that are important.”

KCBD Channel 11, April 8
Permanent housing could be coming to Lubbock
Two non-profit organizations in Texas are looking for permanent solutions for Lubbock’s homeless population. The Texas Homeless Network says Lubbock had around 350 people living on the streets at last count, a number that has remained constant over the past few years. Among those, they say about 80 people are chronically homeless, meaning they have lived on the streets for more than a year. Monday’s symposium opened discussion about the options for funding a permanent housing project in Lubbock. Eric Samuels with the Texas Homeless Network and Dianna Grey the Director of the Texas Corporation for Supportive Housing Program addressed organizations and individuals in the Lubbock community who work with the homeless with their ideas

Indian Country, April 10
Accurate Homeless Counts Need Tribal Buy-In
The best way to accurately make a count of homelessness on American Indian tribal lands is to acknowledge tribal sovereignty and seek the assistance of key tribal members, according to a new report which supplies a toolkit for homeless counts. “Conducting Homeless Counts on Native American Lands: a Toolkit” was written by the Washington, D.C.-based Housing Assistance Corp. (HAC) and CSH (Corporation for Supportive Housing), a New York City-based community development financial institution (CDFI).

Politics365, April 10
Game Changer: Kenneth Bacon
What Makes This Person a Game Changer:Kenneth Bacon has served as a director since November 2002. Mr. Bacon has been a partner at RailField Partners, a financial advisory and asset management firm, since his retirement from Fannie Mae in March 2012, where he had served as the Executive Vice President of the multifamily mortgage business since July 2005. From January 2005 to July 2005, he served as the interim Executive Vice President of Housing and Community Development. Mr. Bacon is a member of the Executive Leadership Council and a director of the Corporation for Supportive Housing

Herald Times Online, April 19
Meetings Next Week to Seek Ways to End, Prevent Homelessness
They are being organized by the Corporation for Supportive Housing in partnership with the all-volunteer South Central Housing Network.

SouthCoast Business Bulletin, April 19
RI Project Includes Support Services for Underserved
Federal, state and local officials celebrated the completion of a $2.24 million revitalization effort recently that created eight new affordable rental homes in Westerly. U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Town Manager Steven Hartford joined the WARM Center, Rhode Island Housing, HUD, Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals and the Corporation for Supportive Housing in April for a ribbon cutting event.

Trib Today, April 23
Partnership to Help with Housing
The Warren YWCA and Beatitude House are collaborating as they work to help local women and children with planned permanent supportive housing. “We reached out to Beatitude House, Someplace Safe and the Trumbull Housing Collaborative and talked about the need for housing. It was pretty clear from those meetings that the need was significant, especially for women and children to transition and be able to become self sufficient and move ahead with their lives,” Harrell said. Harrell said she spoke to the Corporation for Supportive Housing regional chapter, which offers training for organizations interested in developing permanent supportive housing, which is the direction the YWCA is moving.

The SandPaper.net, April 25
Expanded Veterans’ Housing Plan Denied in Tuckerton
Tucker’s Walk, a proposed housing project in Tuckerton for homeless veterans will go forward as planned, said Community Quest President Dan Kelly on Tuesday, after an alternate plan for 54 units of low- and moderate-income senior housing that included half of the units for senior veterans was shut down by the Tuckerton Land Use Board on April 18. According to their letter to the land use board, Community Quest had obtained $1 million in funding to purchase the land and pay for some engineering and legal fees from the Corporation for Supportive Housing. CSH held the mortgage for two years. After two years, another nonprofit, Bishop’s Worldwide, then stepped in to take over the mortgage. Ocean County has also contributed $440,000 for the project.


New Child Welfare and Supportive Housing Resource Center

CSH is proud to be announcing a new effort to provide support to the most vulnerable families in communities throughout the county, The Child Welfare and Supportive Housing Resource Center. The resource center is a joint effort of CSH and the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), that will provide technical assistance, facilitate information-sharing and assist in capacity-building for grantees of the federal Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families with Child Welfare initiative.

We have learned through Keeping Families Together, our pilot demonstration in New York City, that supportive housing offers stability and essential support to families with children who are at risk of recurring involvement in the child welfare system and that present the highest cost to society. Keeping Families Together showed real promise in reducing expenses and reuniting children with their families in a safe, stable environment.

Like Keeping Families Together, the five grantees of this federal demonstration will test whether or not supportive housing can prevent and end homelessness and foster care placement among families with complex challenges like substance abuse and mental health issues. This unprecedented investment in supportive housing by the child welfare system reflects the growing recognition that supportive housing is a promising solution to some of our most costly and tragic social  problems. Unnecessary foster care placement is often detrimental to the health and well-being of children and can often lead to homelessness in adulthood.

At CSH we are energized by this new effort and look forward to providing best practices and capacity building to these five grantees who are working to improve overall child and family well-being across the country. During April, which is Child Abuse Awareness Month, we are especially encouraged and excited about The Child Welfare and Supportive Housing Resource Center as it is a perfect demonstration of our mission to use supportive housing as a way to improve lives for our most vulnerable families and individuals.

Read the entire press release here


Read Commissioner Bryan Samuels take on keeping children safe